More women execs recruited as overall female labor lags behind

More women execs recruited as overall female labor lags behind

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
More women execs recruited as overall female labor lags behind

Data on Turkey’s female labor force show a chasm between the well-educated and the majority of women as the world celebrates International Women’s Day.

The rate of women in senior management positions in Turkey rose to 31 percent, up 6 percentage points from 2011, according to a report by Grant Thornton, an international organization of audit, tax and advisory firms. 

The report, which covers 40 countries, is issued every year before International Women’s Day, according to a company press release. Out of every 100 senior managers 31 are female, according to this year’s survey. The figure was 25 in early 2011. 

The rise in the rate of women holding senior management positions puts Turkey ahead of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) where the average rate is 26 percent. The world average is 21 percent and rose only 1 point in the last year.

Among the 40 countries studied, Turkey comes eighth after Russia, Thailand, Georgia, Italy and Hong Kong. A recent report by Mercer, a business consultancy firm, showed Turkey boasts the lowest gender pay gap in Europe, with a 1 percent difference between senior male and female executives.

Senior female executives in Turkey mostly work in finance, sales, human resources and marketing departments. 

Nearly 77 percent of the Turkish population now lives in towns and cities, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), said Hilal Baltacı, Grant Thornton Turkey’s marketing and business development manager, adding the change in world demographics changes the traditional family structure and the world was heading toward a model in which women increasingly participate in social and economic life.

Participation rate low

Meanwhile, the female labor force participation rate in Turkey does not present a pleasant outlook. The rate is very low, about half of the rate in the European Union, said Aynur Bektaş, a Turkish businesswoman and the head of the Women Entrepreneurs Council at the Turkish Union of Chamber and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), yesterday. 

“The female labor force participation rate in our country is about 28 percent, while it is at about 60 percent in Europe. In other words we are not even halfway there yet,” said Bektaş, the chairperson of Hey Tekstil.

The government target to raise the rate to 35 percent by 2023 as part of the National Employment Strategy is insufficient, but the female labor force which is currently inactive should be supported by the establishment of comprehensive policies, she said.

A survey showed an overwhelming 98 percent of Turkish women think housework, raising children and maintaining peace in the family are the most important duties of women, said Bektaş, demonstrating the self-imposed obstacles for women. Lack of education or occupation, low wages and raising children are some of the main factors preventing women from entering the labor market, she also said. 

‘No future with one wing’

Another institution of Turkey’s business world, the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD), issued a call yesterday to regard factors that disrupt gender equality as social problems in its written statement in celebration of International Women’s Day. 

Turkey can achieve economic, social and democratic targets to the degree Turkish women unveil their potential and take a fair share from social welfare, the statement said, adding TÜSİAD launched a documentary film called “We cannot fly to the future with a single wing.”

Incentive regulations to support women’s participation in the labor force more are good; however, these should increase as Turkey is fourth to last among 135 countries in terms of female labor force participation, according to the statement.

Sabancı adopts UN principles 

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Gender equality an innate right rather than an obligation that must be imposed, according to Sabancı Holding Chairperson Güler Sabancı.

Sabancı Holding is at the forefront of the gender equality movement in Turkey, she said at the “Gender Equality for Sustainable Business” conference organized by the United Nations in New York. The holding has signed the U.N. Women’s Empowerment Principles, demonstrating its commitment to efforts to maintain gender equality at workplaces, according to a company press release.

“Women constitute half of the talent pool, and research shows that women have crucial leadership capabilities. Providing equal opportunities based on talent and success, the companies benefit from the larger potential this talent pool presents,” she said.